Over 50 years, the Environment Victoria community has achieved some incredible things. We helped develop world-leading water conservation laws in the 1970s. We campaigned to create Gariwerd (Grampians National Park) and the Alpine National Park in the 80s, and to improve public transport in the 90s.
In the 2000s we pioneered sustainability programs for multicultural communities, and we worked with Traditional Owners and community groups to secure more water for the Murray River.
Since 2006, we’ve been campaigning to replace Victoria’s dirty coal-burning power stations like with clean energy from the sun and wind.
Environment Victoria initiated Melbourne's first mass protest about climate change, with 40,000 people joining the 'Walk Against Warming' in 2006.
Later events focused on the need to replace Australia's dirtiest power station, Hazelwood, with clean energy.
In the early 2000s, Environment Victoria established that Hazelwood was the least efficient power station in Australia - and one of the dirtiest in the world.
Since then, we've been campaigning to replace Hazelwood with clean energy like wind and solar, while also supporting the Latrobe Valley community to develop new sustainable industries.
Hazelwood closed in March 2017. We helped secure more than $300 million in state and federal government funding to support the Latrobe Valley through this transition.
Working with other environment and community groups, we helped secure an ambitious Victorian Renewable Energy Target from the Andrews government.
In 2016, only about 16 percent of Victoria's electricity came from renewable sources like wind and solar. By 2020, that was more than 25 percent. By 2025, it will rise to 40 percent.
The target is expected to support 5400 megawatts (MW) of new projects and create more than 4000 new jobs in the renewable energy sector by 2024.
In the 1990s, more than 99 percent of the Snowy River’s headwaters had been diverted to the Murray and Murrumbidgee rivers for irrigation through the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Scheme.
Working with local activists in East Gippsland, Environment Victoria won a commitment to help the Snowy River flow again in 2000.
The Murray-Darling Basin Plan became law in November 2012. Thanks to the public pressure exerted all over the country, 3200 billion litres of water was secured for our strained river systems.
The 2016 Victorian state budget announced $220 million in funding for improving river health over the next four years. This includes an extra $30 million to get livestock off riverbanks following our successful ‘Cut the Crap!’ campaign in 2014 and 2015.
In 2014, we successfully campaigned to save the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target (VEET) from being scrapped. The target supports households and businesses by providing a rebate to install energy-saving equipment such as LED lighting, insulation and weather seals. In 2015, the Victorian government increased the target.
Running from 2013 to 2016, our Future Powered Families project helped low-income households save energy, particularly migrant and refugee families. Reaching 6100 people, Future Powered Families was a finalist in the 2016 Premier’s Sustainability Awards.
The best way to cut pollution from energy is to use less of it.
In 2020, we secured the biggest energy efficiency package in Victoria's history, including $335 million to replace 250,000 old heaters with new, energy efficient reverse-cycle air conditioners. This will help low-income households get off gas, saving money and cutting pollution.
Since 2014, we've trained and supported more than 500 volunteers to speak up for our environment and climate in their local area.
Whether it's phoning their MP, holding street stalls, door-knocking the neighbourhood or hosting events, these incredible volunteers are building a level of support for our precious environment that politicians just can’t ignore.
We delivered a HUGE community campaign in the lead-up to the November 2014 state election.
We built and maintained relationships with local MPs who depend on community support to keep their seats in Parliament. Our incredible volunteers are now maintaining pressure in targeted, strategic areas. It's about building long-term support for our environment in the places that decide state and federal elections.
The 2018 Victoria state election was the biggest people-powered campaign in our 50 year history.
Over six months, nearly 500 volunteers made more than 100,000 calls and texts to voters in key areas, reached millions of Victorians with our television advertisements and billboards, and enrolled almost 1500 young people to vote for the first time.
Together we put climate change and clean energy on the agenda in Melbourne’s south-east and across the state. And the result was a comprehensive victory for renewable energy and a big step forward for tackling global warming!
Want the full story? Environment Victoria's new history book, People for the Planet, includes highlights from 50 years of protecting Victoria's environment.